2016 Medal Winners | francais

The 2016 CAP-CRM Prize in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics

is awarded to

Freddy Cachazo

"I would like to thank the Canadian Association of Physicists and the Centre de recherches mathématiques for this remarkable honour. I would also like to thank my collaborators, both physicists and mathematicians, for years of exciting research adventures." winner citation

The Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) and the Centre de recherches mathématiques (CRM) are pleased to announce that the 2016 CAP-CRM Prize in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics is awarded to Freddy Cachazo, Perimeter Institute, for introducing elegant new mathematical ideas and methods that have led to unexpected insights in the way scattering amplitudes are calculated in Supersymmetric Yang-Mills theory. Inspired in part by twistor-string theory, the Cachazo-Svrcek-Witten (CSW) and Britto-Cachazo-Feng-Witten (BCFW) recursion relations revolutionized the field, making it possible to perform previously impossible calculations analytically in a few lines using explicit integral formulae. These results turned out to be in remarkable correspondence with structures explored concurrently by mathematicians for completely different purposes, establishing a suggestive link with the modern theory of integrable systems. announcement

Dr. Freddy Cachazo is a theoretical physicist who has made outstanding contributions to the field of mathematical physics, many of which are widely characterized as breakthroughs. With collaborators, Cachazo has creatively drawn upon a variety of elegant mathematical ideas to develop entirely new methods for studying scattering processes in gauge theories and gravity. Cachazo’s contributions to quantum field theory range from applications of geometric engineering (in string theory) to understanding mysterious dualities relating theories in different dimensions to novel techniques to compute scattering amplitudes in Quantum Chromodynamics (and its generalizations). The latter has brought relatively new mathematics into physics, such as the positive Grassmannian and its combinatorial structure, the positroid.

Beyond providing deep new insights into the structure of quantum field theory, these new methods have had a major impact on high-energy physics, as evidenced by the fact that the Britto-Cachazo-Feng-Witten (BCFW) technique has already been incorporated into the newest edition of the celebrated textbook, Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell, by Anthony Zee (2010) and in the new textbook, Quantum Field Theory and the Standard Model, by Matthew D. Schwartz (2015).

The physical and mathematical principles underlying Cachazo’s research are profound. Cachazo’s 60 papers since 2001 have attracted over 7,500 citations, attesting to the enormous influence of his new insights. Besides being of utility to huge accelerator experiments, Cachazo’s works will have enduring and far-reaching impact in the search for a simpler, unified description of nature’s physical laws and its connection to mathematics. nominator citation

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